• Latin Americans reluctantly rally behind Argentina

    Updated: 31 min ago

    BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — With a reputation for arrogance and illusions of European-styled grandeur, Argentines have long been the objects of scorn and the butt of jokes across Latin America But for at least 90 minutes on Sunday, when Argentina takes on Germany in the World Cup final, most Latin Americans will put aside their irritation with their proud neighbors as they look to Lionel Messi and his teammates to salvage what's left of the region's soccer pride. A defeat for Argentina would be historic: Never has a European team been crowned champion on this side of the Atlantic.

  • 4 suspended for rigging Vanessa-Mae results

    Updated: 56 min ago

    LJUBLJANA, Slovenia (AP) — Four Slovenian ski officials were suspended Friday for allegedly rigging the results of pop violinist Vanessa-Mae to help her qualify for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Competing in Sochi for Thailand as Vanessa Vanakorn, using the surname of her Thai father, she finished a distant last among the 67 racers who completed the two runs in the Olympic giant slalom. To earn enough points to be eligible for the games in February, she had to compete in official races in Sweden, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland. The Slovenian Ski Association said Friday it found evidence indicating that the races it hosted in January were "fixed at the behest of Thai ski officials to meet her qualifying criteria for

  • O-le Canada! Hockey homeland is mad for World Cup

    Updated: 59 min ago

    TORONTO (AP) — Canada has not sent a team to the World Cup in a generation. But that hasn't stopped Canadians from going a little Cup crazy. The nation known more for shooting pucks than penalty kicks fields a national team that ranks 110th in the world, tied with Bahrain. But its fierce love for the beautiful game has been on display for all the world to see in Brazil. FIFA organizers say Canadians bought more than 29,000 tickets to World Cup matches, outranking all other nations that didn't qualify for the Cup and behind only 10 nations that did. Canada was also the top non-competing nation in attendance at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, officials say. As a nation of immigrants, it should be no surprise that that Can

  • Saudi prince steps down from IOC and national body

    Updated: 1 hr ago

    LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — Prince Nawaf Faisal Fahd bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia has resigned as a member of the International Olympic Committee. The IOC says on Friday the prince stepped down as president of the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee. He automatically relinquishes his IOC membership because it was contingent on his Saudi role. No reason was given for his resignation. The IOC says in a statement that IOC President Thomas Bach "thanked His Royal Highness for his contribution to the Olympic movement." Bach met with the prince in Riyadh in April to discuss increasing the participation of female athletes from the ultra-conservative Muslim country in the Olympics. Saudi women are largely banned fr

  • Twins brew up self-serve beer for All Star Game

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — It's BYOB at the home of the Minnesota Twins for this week's All Star Game. As in, Be Your Own Bartender. Just in time for the Home Run Derby, Target Field in Minneapolis put in two self-serve beer machines in the stands behind first and third base, letting thirsty fans pick a brew, pour and pay by the ounce. The pour-your-own stations are unique among the 100-plus stadiums and arenas in the four major professional sports in the United States — though not the first of their kind, a concessions consultant said. They're not about boosting sales, cutting labor costs or shortening lines, said Delaware North Companies general manager Pete Spike, who provides concessions at Target Field.

  • Headley HR ends Kershaw's streak; Padres lose 2-1

    Updated: 6 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — All that Chase Headley's home run did was end Clayton Kershaw's scoreless streak at 41 innings. The San Diego Padres had only two other hits against the two-time Cy Young Award winner. Odrisamer Despaigne allowed just two runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings Thursday night in his fourth big league start. But the 27-year right-hander picked the wrong night to pitch, as the Padres lost 2-1 in the opener of a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. "He matched the best pitcher in baseball all the way through," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "I thought his fastball was a little crisper than his previous two starts. I thought he pitched well with his fastball, had good loca

  • Streak over, Kershaw pitches Dodgers past Pads 2-1

    Updated: 7 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw and batterymate A.J. Ellis were in agreement for nine innings, especially on one specific point: Losing the game would be much worse than seeing the Los Angeles Dodgers' ace lose his scoreless innings streak. Chase Headley snapped Kershaw's streak at 41 innings with a tying homer in the sixth, but the two-time Cy Young Award winner finished with a three-hitter and 11 strikeouts in a 2-1 victory Thursday night over the San Diego Padres. Kershaw (11-2) won his eighth straight start and came within 18 innings of the major league record set by Dodgers right-hander Orel Hershiser, who threw 59 consecutive shutout innings in 1988. "I was barely thinking about the streak at all, and I know

  • Colon's latest rough start dooms Mets vs. Braves

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Bartolo Colon's final line against the Atlanta Braves didn't look so bad. If not for the first inning, it would've been a whole lot better for the 41-year-old right-hander and the rest of the New York Mets. Sound familiar? It sure does to Colon, who can't quite figure out why he is struggling so much at the start. Atlanta scored two runs in the first and added one in the third, then hung on for a 3-1 victory over the Mets on Thursday night to avoid a four-game sweep. Colon threw extra pitches in the bullpen before the game to try to simulate a later inning when he took the mound, but to no avail. "The first inning is very important," Colon said through a translator. "I am just having a little tro

  • Kershaw's scoreless streak ends at 41 innings

    Updated: 8 hr ago

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw's scoreless streak has ended at 41 innings after the Los Angeles Dodgers ace gave up a solo homer to San Diego's Chase Headley. The switch-hitting Headley drove a 1-2 pitch to left-center with two outs in the sixth inning Thursday night for the Padres' second hit off Kershaw. The two-time Cy Young Award winner came within 18 innings of the major league record set by Dodgers right-hander Orel Hershiser, who threw 59 straight shutout innings in 1988. Kershaw's streak was the longest in the majors since Brandon Webb went 42 innings for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007.

  • Cardinals lose 1st game without Molina, 9-1

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Life without All-Star catcher Yadier Molina did not start out well for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pittsburgh Pirates, behind a six-hit complete-game performance from Edinson Volquez, beat the Cardinals 9-1 to avoid being swept in the four-game series. Molina tore a ligament in his right thumb in Wednesday's 5-2 win. He will undergo surgery on Friday and is expected to be out 8 to 12 weeks. The Cardinals, who outscored the Pirates 12-6 in winning the first three games of the series, were flat from the outset. "We just didn't look right from the beginning," manager Mike Matheny said. "It was a tough night for our club in general." The team got the news about Molina three hours before the g

  • Pearce HR helps Orioles squeeze past Nationals 4-3

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    BALTIMORE (AP) — After the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals expended everything they had in three consecutive spirited games, the neighboring rivals parted ways knowing they will see each other again in August. And perhaps again after that. Steve Pearce homered and scored twice to help Wei-Yin Chen earn his ninth victory, and the Orioles beat Washington 4-3 on Thursday night for their eighth win in 10 games. Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz both drove in a run for the Orioles, who built a 4-0 lead in the third inning and held on. Baltimore took two of three from the Nationals in this rain-shortened, home-and-home interleague showdown between division leaders. "I personally enjoyed that series a lot, just cau

  • Volquez leads Pirates to 9-1 win over Cardinals

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Edinson Volquez was expecting some pearls of wisdom from pitching coach Ray Searage before Thursday night's start at St. Louis. "He came up to me and I figured we were going to go over their lineup, do some scouting," Volquez said. "But all he said was, 'Go out there and win.'" Volquez compiled with those simple instructions, tossing a complete game six-hitter to win his fourth straight start in a 9-1 victory. Neil Walker, Josh Harrison, Russell Martin and Andrew McCutchen all drove in two runs for Pittsburgh, which avoided being swept in the four-game series. Volquez (8-6) has a 0.90 ERA in winning four consecutive starts for the first time in his career.

  • Harang shuts down Mets; Braves avert 4-game sweep

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    NEW YORK (AP) — Aaron Harang and the rest of the Atlanta Braves knew they couldn't let this one slip away. Not after dropping the first three of a four-game series with the New York Mets, and losing four in a row overall. The skid came on the heels of a nine-game winning streak, but suddenly the Braves were looking up at the Washington Nationals with the All-Star break bearing down. Harang allowed four hits in seven innings, and the Braves used early offense against Bartolo Colon to beat the Mets 3-1 on Thursday night and salvage one game at Citi Field. "It's huge," Harang said after the Braves moved within one percentage point of first-place Washington in the NL East. "Getting swept is tough in a three-game series.

  • Nationals fall behind early, lose to Orioles 4-3

    Updated: 9 hr ago

    BALTIMORE (AP) — Ian Desmond had a night to forget in the finale of a memorable series. Desmond committed a key throwing error and got plunked in the right thumb with a fastball as the Washington Nationals lost to the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Thursday night. Steve Pearce homered and Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz drove in a run each for the Orioles, who built a 4-0 lead in the third inning and held on. Baltimore took two of three from the Nationals in this rain-shortened, home-and-home interleague showdown between division leaders. Baltimore's final run came when Desmond fielded an infield single by Cruz and threw wildly to third base from his shortstop position in an effort to get Jones drifting off the base.

  • Phillies win 9-1 to finish 4-game sweep of Brewers

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — In back-to-back innings, Jimmy Rollins broke up Matt Garza's no-hit bid and a shutout. Soon enough, a frustrating afternoon at the plate for the Philadelphia Phillies turned into a laugher at Miller Park. Rollins' two-out, two-run single in the eighth sparked a seven-run outburst that helped Philadelphia complete a four-game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers with a 9-1 win Thursday. What a nice way for the last-place Phillies to head home after a 10-game road trip that had started 1-5. "I feel a lot better about the last four games. That's something we can build on," manager Ryne Sandberg said. "To see the offense come alive for a four-game series against good pitching, I think it's a step in the r

  • Brewers get swept by Phillies after falling 9-1

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — Sitting near the dugout railing after a strong outing, Matt Garza could only watch helplessly as his shutout evaporated. A seven-run outburst in the eighth inning by the Philadelphia Phillies led to a 9-1 loss for the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. It was hard to believe that Garza had a no-hitter going into the seventh. Instead, the Brewers got swept in four games by the last-place team in the NL East. Milwaukee has lost five straight and nine of 10 heading into an important series this weekend with the St. Louis Cardinals. With the offense dormant and the bullpen struggling, manager Ron Roenicke is looking for answers. "The longer it keeps going, the worse things go for us, it gets a little to

  • Slumping Brewers turn to prospect Nelson

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    MILWAUKEE (AP) — The slumping Milwaukee Brewers will recall top pitching prospect Jimmy Nelson from Triple-A Nashville to start Saturday in an important series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Nelson is 10-2 with a 1.46 ERA in the minors with 114 strikeouts and 32 walks in 111 innings. He started once in the majors this year, getting his first big-league win last month, beating Miami 7-1. The right-hander takes the rotation spot of Marco Estrada, who was bumped to the bullpen after allowing a league-leading 27 homers in 18 starts. To make room for Nelson, the Brewers placed left-handed reliever Wei-Chung Wang on the 15-day disabled list after Thursday's 9-1 loss to Philadelphia with shoulder tightness. Wang was a Rule

  • Andres Gonzales has 62 at Utah Championship

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    SANDY, Utah (AP) — Andres Gonzales shot a 9-under 62 in the first round of the Web.com Tour's Utah Championship on Thursday. Gonzales has a three-shot lead over Utah's Tony Finau, Skip Kendall, Steve Wheatcroft and Paul Peterson. Gonzales opened his round with an eagle at the par-5 first hole, making a 7-foot putt. He had two more birdies on the front nine. His five back-nine birdies included a tap-in at the par-3 15th hole, the result of a tee shot he thought had a chance of going in. "(The ball) had a good line on it. It landed short but somehow ended up behind (the hole)," Gonzales said. "My wife was there. I asked her if it hit the hole, but she said it didn't.

  • Montgomerie leads after first day of Senior Open

    Updated: 10 hr ago

    EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — Colin Montgomerie declared Bernhard Langer the favorite heading into the U.S. Senior Open. After 18 holes, Montgomerie may well have seized that position himself with a 6-under 65 to lead at the end of Thursday at Oak Tree National. The Scotsman started on No. 10 and birdied Nos. 14, 15 and 16 on the way to a 33 on the back nine. He birdied six, seven and eight to finish strong in oppressive heat and humidity. "That was the key to the round, the three birdies in a row on the front nine, my back nine," Montgomerie said. "To birdie six, seven, eight was good. That got me to the position I am now." Marco Dawson was second after a 66, and Mark Brooks was third after shooting 68. Langer was one o

  • Zico says Brazil should replace Scolari as coach

    Updated: 11 hr ago

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) — Brazil football great Zico says coach Luiz Felipe Scolari must be replaced if his country is to move past its disappointing World Cup performance. "We should thank him (Scolari) and thank (assistant coach Carlos Alberto) Parriera too. But we need to choose new people with new thoughts about how to play the Brazilian way," the three-time World Cup veteran said Thursday, just two days after Brazil's humiliating 7-1 semifinal loss to Germany. Zico said Sao Paulo coach Muricy Ramalho would be an ideal candidate to lead Brazil. "He is one the greatest champions of the Brazilian league, which is one of the hardest in the world to win," Zico said.